Sprinter Khairul Who Was Barred From Boarding At KLIA Says He Was Not COVID-19 Positive
On Monday night, 14 June, two of Malaysia's track and field athletes were barred from boarding their plane at KLIA to Kazakhstan.
The duo, Khairul Hafiz Jantan and Haiqal Hanafi, were reported to be COVID-19 positive but had failed to check their emails for results.
According to a report in New Straits Times on Wednesday morning, 16 June, Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF) president Datuk S M Muthu had said that the two sprinters were found to be positive for COVID-19 based on their PCR results, which had already been emailed to them prior to they boarded a bus at the National Sports Council (NSC) compound with other officials and athletes bound for Kazakhstan.
The MAF president said that he was left bewildered as he could not believe both the athletes' foolishness after so much was spent on preparing them in their bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
"Until now I can't believe the events that unfolded (on Monday night) which led to both the sprinters being stopped at the KLIA," New Straits Times quoted an extremely angry Muthu as saying.
Now, Khairul, who is the national 100m record holder, says he would like to set the record straight as he was not COVID-19 positive
He says the reason he was stopped was for being in close contact with Haiqal, who is COVID-19 positive.
"Yes, I was stopped at KLIA from going to Kazakhstan (to compete at the Qosanov Memorial Championships in Almaty on 19 and 20 June) but I was not COVID-19 positive," Khairul said.
He also claims that he did not receive any emails from the Ministry of Health (MOH).
"I would like to set the record straight because many have been calling me irresponsible and immature which I am not. If I had received an email (like Haiqal did) and was really positive, I would not have travelled with the team by bus to KLIA," the 22-year-old athlete added.
He says that both he and Haiqal had followed the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and had kept their distance during training
"Only that I was stopped from entering KLIA because of 'close contact' status," Khairul, who is now quarantined at the National Sports Council (NSC) hostel, clarified.
Since then, he underwent another COVID-19 test and was found to be negative.
"But I will still remain at the NSC hostel until 23 June, and another test will be done on 20 June," he said.
Meanwhile, Haiqal is recovering from the virus at another venue.
Remember to limit your movement and keep practising physical distancing. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:
Last week, 19-year-old rider Malaysian rider Khairulamirin Yahaya met with an accident during a practice session in Spain: